Article 72 in the New 'Halo' TV Series May Seem Straightforward, but It Requires Discretion

Viewers of the 'Halo' TV show know that Article 72 is a big deal, but what does it exactly entail? We have all the answers you need.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

May 20 2022, Published 12:53 p.m. ET

Master Chief No Helmet
Source: Paramount Plus

If you were one of the first folks to get a Microsoft Xbox when the computer giant debuted the console way back in 2001, then there was a good chance you were clocking tons of hours on pretty much the only good game available on the console at the time: Halo. And while that may sound like a harsh criticism, it's not. Because Halo revolutionized first-person shooters and was a darn good game.

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Fast forward 21 years and the game has blossomed into a multi-layered IP that now has its own TV series. Lately, its episodes are leaving viewers searching for further context into the Halo universe. For example, many want to know what Article 72 is in the Halo universe.

Halo TV Series
Source: Paramount Plus
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What is Article 72 in the 'Halo' TV series?

The command is expressly defined as thus: "It allows the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) to terminate anyone or anything that will potentially threaten the human race."

So think of it as James Bond's license to kill, you know, but with folks running around in space suits with guns murking aliens.

Article 72's primary purpose ensuring humanity's survival at any cost. This means that once it's enacted or invoked, soldiers can pretty much do whatever they want.

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What the Halo series does, however, is show that there are USNC troops who are more than willing to enact Article 72 without hesitation early on in the series, leaving viewers to wonder if the humans vs. aliens conflict is as cut-and-dry as it seems. But there's an interesting theory that ties into the future of the Halo series and, Article 72 is important to that.

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Lord Acton famously said that "absolute power corrupts absolutely," and it's hard to argue that the British historian was anything but entirely right about that.

This leads us to a possibility of potential for a more in-depth view of the dynamics of alien races in the Halo universe further down the line.

If you played the Halo games or read the novels that expand on the IP's lore, then you're probably familiar with "The Arbiter," the alien character who is neither a bad guy nor a villain, just someone who respects certain ideals and capabilities.

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The name of the specific Arbiter we're talking about is Thel 'Vadam, whom gamers got to control in Halo 2 and was basically the alien version of Master Chief.

By highlighting how some humans abuse Article 72, showrunners of the Halo series could be queuing up an inverted move for the villains in the series.

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Yes, sure, there are definitely tons of bad guys who want to destroy humanity, but that doesn't mean some of these "villains" can't have a standard that they like to abide by. Could Article 72 be leading to the debut of The Arbiter?

That's yet to be seen. It certainly isn't a cheap show to produce. Its budget has been estimated to be anywhere between $90 million and $200 million. And if it isn't bringing in viewers, it's difficult to imagine that the streaming service will keep it around.

Time will tell if the first wave of negative reviews will adversely affect the show's future.

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